Telegraph UK        12:56AM GMT 23 Nov 2015


Belgian police arrest 16 people in operations against terror suspects as officers hunt Paris gunman

Search for Paris attacks fugitive Salah Abdeslam and ‘several others’ goes on, with Brussels at highest terror threat level amid new atrocity fears

• Brussels remains on highest terror level amid ‘imminent attack’ fears
Salah Abdelslam evades Belgian police and ‘heads for Germany’
• Belgian authorities arrest 16 people in anti-terror operations
• Britain’s Davis Cup team delay departure to Ghent by 24 hours
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Salah Abdelslam, Europe’s most wanted man, was once again reportedly spotted by police but managed to escape capture and was thought to be heading towards the German border in a BMW.

New photographs of Salah Abdeslam

Belgian federal prosecutors admitted in a midnight press conference that a massive police and army operation launched across the nation on Sunday evening had failed to catch the Islamist accused of participating in the Paris attacks.

Belgian Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Syp gives a press briefing at the end of an evening of operation by Belgian security forces in Brussels, Belgium, 22 November 2015.

Belgian Federal prosecutor Eric Van der Syp gives a press briefing at the end of an evening of operation by Belgian security forces in Brussels, Belgium  Photo: EPA

Salah was spotted by Belgian police near the city of Liege at about 7.30pm on Sunday evening but managed to evade officers, Dernier Heure reported.

The man then headed in the direction of Germany on the E40 motorway and again avoided a police checkpoint set up to intercept him.

Prosecutors confirmed only that Abdelsam was not among the 16 people arrested in 19 raids on Sunday and refused to take questions about his whereabouts.

The raids took place on Sunday after the Belgian Prime Minister reiterated that there was an ‘imminent and serious’ threat of a terrorist attack.

Belgian soldiers and a police officer control the documents of a woman in a shopping street in central Brussel

Belgian soldiers and a police officer check a woman’s documents in a street in central Brussels  Photo: Youssef Boudlal/Reuters

Brussels remained in lockdown with a vast security presence in the city centre and metro services suspended into Monday morning.

The morning after the Friday 13 attacks, Abdelslam was stopped by French police near the Belgian border in a car with two other men but was allowed to proceed because police did not yet know of his alleged involvement in the Paris massacre.

He has since reportedly been spotted several times at locations across the Belgian capital.

Brussels police revealed that during Sunday’s operations they shot at a car that approached a roadblock in the Molenbeek area of the city.

The car escaped but police later found it with a wounded individual inside, according to Eric Van der Sypt, federal magistrate.